Text: Romans 12:1-2
Theme: The definition and example of worship is a life yielded to God.
Key verses: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…” (v. 1-2a).
What I believe God said to me: The Greek word for worship that Paul used here literally means worship. In other places where it’s used it is translated as “holy service to God,” “religious duties,” and “temple service,” referring to the People of Israel in the Old Testament. In Romans 9:4, Paul said it is a “privilege” to worship me like this. So get the picture: In this passage in Romans 12, Paul is bringing together all the other teachings on worship and laying them at your feet–the feet of those Gentiles and Jews who know me and have been chosen by me to follow him. Surely you can see how that is a huge privilege for you. Compared to all I have done and will do for you, surely you would want to lay your life down for me to use you. That is a small price to pay for my salvation which saves you from eternity in hell and guarantees you eternity with me in paradise. I’m in you and above you and all around you. I never leave you nor forsake you. And I am constantly cheering you on to worship me in spirit and truth, to be a living sacrifice I can fill and use anytime, anywhere I please. I’ve done the heavy-lifting; I’ve done the physical dying in your stead. Whether you too will have to die physically for my name and sake remains to be seen. Today I am simply asking you–actually insisting–that you surrender your body, soul and spirit to me completely and unreservedly. That is the most reasonable, logical, spiritual service you can render to me.
What I said to God: Father, thank You so very much for loving me enough to die on the cross in my place. Wow, I needed to be reminded of that powerful truth today. What it should propel me to want to do is yield myself to you and place myself on the altar to be sacrificed for your service and glory. Forgive me when I drag myself off the altar of my heart and rebelliously do my own thing. I am truly sorrowful and contrite (or at least I need to be). I want to hear You say to me, “Well done.” And why might you say that? It would be because I died to myself and didn’t conform to the world, but rather, allowed myself to be transformed and renewed in my mind through Your Word. In brief, if I choose Your divine way to worship on earth, I have a better chance of hearing you say, “Way to worship!” when I meet you in the air.